|Shields Jr, Fletcher|
Submitted to: Ecological Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/29/2006
Publication Date: 1/1/2007
Citation: Pezeshki, S.R., Li, S., Shields Jr, F.D., Martin, L.T. 2007. Factors governing survival of black willow (salix nigra) cuttings in a field restoration project. Ecological Engineering. 29(1):56-65. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2006.07.014.
Interpretive Summary: Stream channel erosion results in degraded water quality, loss of land, and ecological damage. Planting cuttings from willow trees is an effective and economical approach for re-establishing woody vegetation within eroding channels. However, long-term success of willow plantings on channel banks is often disappointing. A two-year field experiment was conducted by monitoring survival, growth, and environmental variables for replicated plots established within a 2-km long stream restoration project along an unstable, incised stream in northern Mississippi. Results indicated that plot location on the bank and soil texture are important, interacting factors that influence willow performance. These results should improve site evaluation for streambank stabilization planning.
Technical Abstract: A field study was conducted at Little Topashaw Creek in northern Mississippi, aimed at expanding the limited data base on the behavior of Salix nigra (black willow) cuttings planted on riparian restoration sites. Replicated plots were established across elevational gradients and a wide range of soil texture. Each plot contained 16 planted cuttings (2.5 cm diameter x 2.5 m length). Plot distance to base flow, depth to water table, soil texture, and soil redox potential were measured. Plant growth and survival were monitored periodically over two growing seasons. Survival and growth were best at low elevation because of the ample water supply during dry periods as compared to cuttings planted at mid- and high elevations. In addition, poor survival and growth were noted for cuttings that were subjected to moisture deficits in plots with high sand content while the best cutting performance was recorded for plots characterized by intermediate sand content. Both elevation and sediment texture influenced plant performance at the site. During the most critical period of plant establishment, plants at low elevation survived and grew best where the soil contained high sand. In contrast, at mid- and high elevations, plants survived and grew best where the soil contained low sand.